Avoiding the Shade

When it comes to getting roasted, these characteristics make you much likelier to get read for filth.

The concept of a roast may conjure up any number of images, perhaps a Cornish game hen or some of some of Arby’s signature menu items.

In a hipper sense though, a roast has come to mean a harsh joke made by one friend about another, through which the first means to drag the second to some extent. A good roast is well timed, pinpoints a largely unspoken truth about a person and may even serve them some just deserts, should their flaws be egregious enough. 

Roast sessions have become an outlet for friend groups far and wide to air their grievances and each other’s dirty laundry in a lighthearted manner. These Friars Club-esque mini-roasts are a way for people to voice what they find irritating or questionable about you, while also flexing their creative and comedic muscles.

Similar to what you may have witnessed in professional roasts, some people are simply easier to mock than others, which might make you wonder/fear: What makes someone particularly roast-able? 

Some attendees of the session will come away relatively unscathed, with a joke or two made about somewhat superficial aspects of their being, while others limp off in search of water, trying to salvage what’s left of their edges, having been freshly read for filth.

This happens to be the fate of many whose personalities are ripe with roast-ready fodder just waiting to be taken down in a public forum. So, whether you’re struggling with how to properly roast someone or you’re a curious spectator, here are some characteristics that make a person more susceptible to getting roasted. 

1. Messiness

“Messy” in this case means someone doesn’t always exercise intelligent decision-making skills: they might text people they ought not to be talking to, update their Finsta more than their main account or generally seek drama or self-destructive activities.

Plus, an added bonus of roasting a messy friend is that it makes everyone else feel better about themselves, as the roastees can then pat themselves on the back for having even a shred more self-control than their friend. 

2. Naiveté

Rose-colored glasses are a hell of a lens through which to see the world, and the markedly more jaded folks around this naïve cube are likely sick of their pep or overall lack of awareness.

Perhaps they’ve never moved out of their hometown or they weren’t allowed to watch “SpongeBob” growing up; either way, they missed out somewhere and haven’t been fully clued-in to why the world works the way it does. They’re also missing the cynical streak most people are born with, which leaves them wide-eyed and unsuspecting of the deathblows headed their way. 

3. Easily Imitable

Everyone has some quirk that would be key in an impression of them, whether they speak expressively using their hands, reuse a certain phrase or have a distinct laugh. Some impressions are more fun to see and attempt than others — generally, the bigger the personality, the better.

No matter which magnificent bastard you tackle, though, give them a rough idea of what it’s like to be around them. Even observing them to the point of imitating them well is impressive and would warrant a laugh. 

4. Clingy

This poor son of a bitch. Everyone has needs, but this person’s constantly barking up the wrong tree trying to fill them. When this friend isn’t pursuing anything that walks as a potential significant other, they’re smothering those in their life with their unquenchable thirst for attention.

They’ll be easily roasted since they’re exhibiting semblances of messiness, searching desperately for stuff that’s not there. It’ll be tough for them to hear, but god will it feel good to drag them. 

5. Hypocritical

Is someone you know very low-key living a lie? Are they steeped in secrecy and a tendency to hide important truths from those who count? Does their word mean anything to you at this point? Now’s a great time to open up a dialogue by joking about it.

Odds are more than one of you has caught this person in a falsehood, so it’ll be rewarding to expose their untruthfulness in a group and have a good laugh about how casually full of it they are. 

Andrew Crossan, University of South Carolina

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Andrew Crossan

University of South Carolina

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